Persistence Is Key (or how I found out I can do a Spinning Fireman)

One goal I had for 2012 was to join a gym. I wanted a place that I could feel comfortable and it offered all the classes that I like…cause what I didn’t want to do is pay two separate gyms (even though i’m willing to pay for a yoga studio membership…but ugh, the prices!!!! sorry….focus). So on Valentine’s Day, I found my place. And the very first class I signed up for was Pole Intro.

I’ve always wanted to learn how to pole dance. Next to belly dancers, strippers have some of the best bodies. Their isolations and control should be applauded. All while in 6 inch heels? I tip my hat to you ladies. So in my mind, I thought I was going to spin, booty pop, and crawl my way into oblivion. I would feel sexy and look sexy…plus, I’d have some sort of “secret weapon” for my man for some nights at home.

What I got was tired arms, inner thigh chaffing, and bruises.

I already respected strippers, but after that first class I gained a new level of respect. But in that acknowledgement, I also knew that I had work to do before I could brag that I know pole moves. Trust me, that has been an uphill battle. But one thing about me; when I’ve made up in my mind that I’m doing something, I have complete tunnel vision. I signed up for pole classes twice a week, for MONTHS. In fact, any class that involved pole work (like my now favorite Stripper Bootcamp) I was there. I learned from different teachers. I learned to trust my body and to not over think it. Kept practicing. Then for two months, the pole classes were always full. Tonight was my return to pole class.

Is pole dancing the same as riding a bike? Will I know what to do?

Lucky for me, my class was truly filled with newbies. Normally, I was in class with advance students and even a few guys who can swing from a pole better than me (seriously, this lacrosse player came in, first time, and got moves I couldn’t get in four months. *sigh* focus.). Tonight, I just wanted to see how far I’ve come and how much further I have. So we do the spinning fireman. I set myself up. I get my momentum going. I bring my knee up. I point my toes.

You’ve gotten much better, Tiffany!

I looked at myself the second time, and I really did. In fact, I had everyone in class looking to me to see how to do a spin or a walk. It was a humbling moment for me. It also showed me that staying consistent, even when I don’t see the end result, is the way to go. Just keep at it. You’ll do a fireman in no time

(breaking) Shackles

Recognizing the strongholds in my life have been, at times, draining. First, you have to recognize that something IS a stronghold in your life. That thing (or things….let’s be honest) that keeps you from happiness, success, joy, or whatever. For me, it has been the negative chatter I have with myself. Learning what triggers it (usually a dip in my self-esteem) and then silencing it is proving to be my biggest challenge this year.

The reason it’s my hurdle to eliminate is because….well…..I’ve learned to live comfortably in denial. Trust me, there’s no lie that you can tell me that I haven’t told myself. That has changed the more I longed to have a deeper purpose and relationship in my life. I’ve had to face some truths about myself and some situations. I’ve cried more than a little bit and even lost nights of sleep….all in hopes of becoming a better person. I just want to be better than I was yesterday, last week, last month.

So this season of my life is lonely. Difficult. At times too much for my soul to handle. However, I’m getting much better with reversing the internal chatter with much more positive affirmations. Meditation has also allowed me to be still and listen to myself. Prayer has really helped shift my mind frame and focus. I’m still on the right path, even if I’m not sure what the destination is anymore.

Dream Away….

I dream about Jay-Z. Not often, but I do. Every time I dream about him, it’s always in the same manner. Not like a big brother, not even like a boyfriend (even though in a few of the dreams he was) but almost like a guardian. Every dream I’ve had that Jay was in….he was protecting and guarding me in some capacity. Like somehow he was watching out for me when things got hard. Now I know he’s just a manifestation of my subconscious…but what is he suppose to represent?

That has been racking my brain, especially after the dream I had about him last night. Once again, he was there to ease my mind, but why? I wasn’t worried….but he came to me anyway and comforted me. I would look it up in a dream dictionary, but those interpretations are always general. Your dreams are catered to what’s going on in your life and mind. I just want to know who (or what) Jay-Z represents to me.

Rolling

When I was a teenager, I became fascinated with gypsies and fortune telling. Not that the two have anything in common, however I was interested anyway. I always envisioned my life as being real nomadic. I’d move city to city, state to state(even country to country) Telling fortunes and picking up whatever type of job I could and when I was done, I’d move on to the next place. Then I had a child. Then I fell in love. Then got a job. So my need to stay put began to be engraved in my thoughts by so many people close to me.

You can’t just come and go as you please. You have responsibilities.

So I stayed put. But not for long.

I love you, but this is where I want to live and we’re only going to work if you’re in the same state as me. I can’t do a long-distance relationship.

So I stay put. But that doesn’t last either.

This job is going to get better. Promotion and raise is on the way. Just stick it out. Start looking for an apartment.

So I stay.

But I’m getting that feeling that there’s somewhere else I need to be. Maybe I’m afraid of commitment; unable to see things through to the end. Maybe I’ve convinced myself that moving around was a glamorous life; that not having roots in one place is a good thing. Being a free spirit and experiencing life the way it was meant to be.

Maybe I’m scared that by sacrificing my need to move freely for something more solid will end up in disappointment…..may be something I’m not willing to accept as my reality. I don’t know. These are just thoughts.

Take Me Away

It’s time for me to take a vacation. A real one. Usually, I just go to a website, look at their all-inclusive package, and imagine myself there. But now, with the increase at work…I need some sort of break. Just a few days where I’m not worried about work, my home, friends….nothing. I won’t even worry about getting a workout in (although that might be a lie since I plan to be active anyway). I just know it’s time for me to get away, and my usual “waiting until i get a federal holiday off” isn’t going to cut it.

When did I know I needed to slow down? When I woke up this morning and started getting ready for work….on my day off. Seriously, I didn’t even know what day of the week it was. So…where should I go? I’m thinking somewhere near water….

Cinderella Syndrome

You’re familiar with the classic fairy tale. I know I am. In fact, that was one of my favorite stories to read myself to sleep as a kid (yes, I was such a nerd that I read myself bedtime stories….or neglected by my parents…..but I digress). As a kid, what I loved the most about the story was that even though Cinderella’s situation was bleak, she still found her happily ever after with her Prince Charming with some help from her Fairy Godmother. So I held on to that theory. That one day, my prayers will be answered and I’ll meet a man to rescue me from my living situation. For years, I lived the Cinderella creed: work hard. believe. get a man at a party. Only recently did I start to look at this childhood favorite with a critical (and maybe realistic) eye.

Cinderella lacked self-worth and self-esteem. Why? She endured horrible living conditions. Constant verbal abuse from a mother and two sisters by law, became an indentured servant, and lived in the basement of a house I’m sure had 4 bedrooms. She accepted any and everything they dished out to her without hesitation, including going to the royal ball. Then she basically lets this old woman with wings convince her that she could never pull a man looking the way she is so mother goes to town creating this image of a wealthy woman with a horses, a carriage, and so rich that her shoes are made of pure glass (I won’t even get into how uncomfortable that had to have been). Then if that isn’t enough, Cinderella promptly leaves the ball at midnight because she doesn’t want the Prince to see the real her: a peasant, parentless woman. So ashamed of who she is, she runs away, leaving behind a shoe. And the Prince, who clearly must have tunnel vision, only marries her because the shoe fits her foot, not because he loved how she looked.

So…remind me again why I wanted that life for myself?

Wednesday Workout

A few things I learned in bootcamp tonight:

1. Skipping breakfast probably wasn’t the best thing for me to do.

2. I have no desire to finish those mini cinnamon rolls in my desk drawer(yes, I keep snacks at my desk) but don’t have the heart to throw them away….

3. Burpees were designed to be an instrument of torture….and I managed to get through 5 of them before feeling like collapsing.

4. No matter how many times the instructor tells you to “breathe”, at some point, you probably will just stop because it required too many muscles to inhale.

5. Muscle shakes are normal and common.

6. The only person I will ever be in competition with in that class will be myself, and I get stronger every week.

7. I’m a lot stronger than I give myself credit for. Seriously, I’m sure I can do a full push-up if I can silence my self-doubt chatter….

8. Five pound weights are now lightweight to me….

9. The right sports bra matters. A lot. A whole lot.

10. Endorphins are a helluva drug! And I’m hooked!

No Really, Let it Go

Some situations I tend to have are repetitive. They constantly come up no matter how much I think I’ve learned my lesson. In fact, recently I’ve found myself in similar situations down to the dialog. Why? I use to think that I didn’t learn my lesson and that I’m doomed to repeat it until I make the right decision.

Well that’s just not the case. I’ve learned my lesson, I know the steps to take, and know what to expect. What I haven’t done was change my mind frame. When something happens to me (work-related or relationship wise) I have a nasty habit of over analyzing and over thinking. Worse, my imagination is constantly at work so I come up with scenarios, and then over think and over analyze those. So by the time I’m “over it”, I’m back in it again. It’s a cycle that I’m tired of. I focus so much on the duration, instead of the destination. Instead of the usual, “Why does this keep happening to me?”, I’d rather be grateful and appreciative that clearly I’m equipped to handle the situation.

I should know, I’ve been here before. Got through it too. Now I just need to hold onto that same faith and optimism to get me through again.

Let Go

I’m a Taurus. I’m also a pack rat. I hold on to everything. From prom dresses to old diaries, I still keep them. I even have a shoebox filled with memories of past dates with guys. I don’t like to get rid of things I feel to have some form of sentimental value to me. Now this has been my “thing” but also my burden. Not being able to let go has caused me to take way too many trips down memory lane. Why? Why must I constantly remind myself who I used to be or what I used to do?

To learn from my past mistakes?

Because it’s fun to reminisce?

Truth is, I think I do it as a way to punish myself. I read through old diaries and see how optimistic I was with a particular person, only to chuckle cynically to myself because I know how the story ends. Or hold on to a movie stub because that was the only time we actually enjoyed each other’s company before all the arguments.

Well, I’m ready to let all that go. Honestly, I’m tired of allowing my past to torment me to the point that I can’t see the growth and progress I’ve made as a woman. Nothing fancy, I’ll just enjoy where I am now. Who I am now, and focus on these memories. Then tomorrow, this will be the past. And I’ll let this go too.

Some Random Feelings….

You know the one thing that I really love about myself? I’m not afraid to do the work. Whatever context that happens to be in: filling in for co-workers who are “sick”, keeping peace in a house that thrives on conflict, piecing together a broken heart, affirming myself while encouraging others. I will work towards it. So in those times where I feel that I’m not “that” strong….I remind myself that no matter the situation, I’m willing to do the work. And that gives me my strength to keep going forward